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1102 South Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL 33803

Rape Charges in Polk County

Lakeland Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Rape is nonconsensual or forced sexual contact by one party against another party. Rape usually involves sexual contact stemming from threats or physical harm. Rape usually involves sexual exploitation by means of menace, duress, violence, fear of injury or other dangers. To constitute rape, an opening of the body must be penetrated by a sexual organ or object (thus rape can include anal sex, oral sex or vaginal sex).

Individuals who are drugged, underage, asleep, passed out or mentally impaired cannot give their consent, and thus sexual acts with these individuals is considered rape. Florida rape statutes have been amended to include men, as well as women.

In order for someone to be convicted of rape, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant engaged in oral, vaginal or anal penetration of a victim's sexual organ or another object and that there was a union by the defendant's sexual organ with the victim's mouth, vagina or anus.

If a rape victim is under the age of 12, the prosecutor does not have to show the victim's lack of consent, if the victim is over the age of 12 however, the prosecutor must show that the victim did not consent voluntarily. This offense is discussed extensively in Florida Statutes Sections 794.005-794.09.

Penalties & Defenses Available for You

If the victim was under the age of 12 and you are over the age of 18, you are facing a capital felony offense. This offense is punishable by the death penalty or life in prison without parole. If the defendant was under the age of 18, the crime is still a felony, but is punishable by at least 30 years in prison or life imprisonment.

The minimum charge for a rape conviction when the victim is over the age of 12 is a second degree felony which will result in a prison term of up to 15 years. When the prosecutor can prove one of the following circumstances, the sentence can be changed to a first degree felony:

  • The defendant threatened
  • The defendant employed coercive acts
  • The victim was physically incapacitated
  • The victim was unable to resist the sexual battery

When a deadly weapon or physical force is used, the offense becomes a life felony. One of the most common defenses used in rape cases is that the sexual act was consensual (in other words, voluntary consent was given by the alleged victim). Other defenses that can be used include lack of evidence, lack of factual evidence, mistaken identity and polygraph tests can be used to uphold your innocence.

False or exaggerated accusations are common which is why it is imperative you secure criminal defense on your side immediately so that you can craft the best defense possible. With more than 35 years of combined legal experience behind us, the staff at Ayo & Iken is prepared to assist you today. Contact a Lakeland criminal defense attorney at the firm now at (863) 949-0388!

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